Liberal Youth Wales

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Welsh Young Liberals
Rhyddfrydwr Ifanc Cymru
IR Cymru
President Mark Cole
Chairperson Callum James Littlemore
Founded 2002 (as MIDR Cymru)
Headquarters Freedom Central, Ground Floor, Blake Court, Schooner Way, Cardiff, CF10 4DW
Ideology Liberalism,
Social liberalism,
Classical liberalism,
Federalism,
British unionism
Mother party Welsh Liberal Democrats
National affiliation Young Liberals
Website
http://www.ircymru.org/

Welsh Young Liberals (Welsh:Rhyddfrydwr Ifanc Cymru, shortened to IR Cymru /ˌ ˌɑːr ˈkʌm.ri/), is the successor to what was previously "Myfyrwyr a Ieuenctid y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru - Liberal Democrat Youth and Students Wales") and constitues the youth wing of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Its membership is open to any member of the Liberal Democrats living, working or studying in Wales provided they are under 26 years of age and/or in full/part-time education above that age.[1]

The organisation has branches all over Wales, including affiliated branches at many Welsh universities.[2][3] IR Cymru campaigns for the aims of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and has had members standing for election since the 2005 General Election and the 2007 Welsh Assembly Election.[4] The organisation also supports and advocates youth engagement in local politics with many members both standing and being sitting councillors across Wales.

IR Cymru is a part of the UK Federal Young Liberals. In April 2009, what was then MIDR Cymru rebranded and relaunched as IR Cymru following the re-branding of the federal organisation to Liberal Youth.[5][6] IR Cymru also underwent a similar re-brand in early 2017 to match the federal re-branding of the Liberal Youth as "Young Liberals".

History[edit]

IR Cymru was founded in 2002 as MIDR Cymru /ˌmɪ.də ˈkʌm.r/, short for the Welsh Myfyrwyr a Ieuenctid y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru, to be the Welsh branch of LDYS (Liberal Democrat Youth and Students Wales).

In 2008 the federal LDYS was re-branded as Liberal Youth. MIDR Cymru followed this in 2009, becoming IR Cymru / Liberal Youth Wales.

In 2016 the federal Liberal Youth was re-branded as Young Liberals and IR Cymru similarly followed suit with this in 2017, becoming IR Cymru / Welsh Young Liberals.

List of Chairs[edit]

Name Term of Office Branch Notes
Callum James Littlemore 2017 (January) – Present Cardiff Took over as interim-chair following the resignation of Tom Crofts. A by-election is planned for this position in March.
Tom Crofts 2016 (September) – 2017 (January) Wrexham
Sara Lloyd Williams 2015 (October) - 2016 (September) Arfon Sara was the 2015 Liberal Democrat candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.[7]
Sam Bennett 2012 (November) – 2015 (October) Brecon and Radnorshire Served three consecutive term.
Sara Lloyd Williams 2012 (March - November) Arfon
Samuel Ellis Rees 2012 (January - March) Swansea Interim chair during reorganisation
Vacant 2011-12 n/a No chair was elected for this term.
Matt Smith 2010-11 Glamorgan Matt Smith was the 2010 Liberal Democrat candidate for Blaenau Gwent.[8]
Richard Morgan-Ash 2009-10 Ceredigion
Corey Shefman 2008-09 Cardiff Presided over the renaming of MIDR Cymru to IR Cymru.
Paul Harding 2007-08 Ceredigion
Adi Smith 2005-07 Ceredigion Served two terms.
Sarah Green 2004-05 Ceredigion
David Bourne 2003-04 Ceredigion
Matt Jones 2002-03  ?

Internal organisation[edit]

IR Cymru is part of the federal structure of Young Liberals and its Chair is the Welsh Convenor of that organisation. IR Cymru is responsible for tailoring LY campaigns to match political circumstances in Wales, and for developing indigenous campaigns that reflect the status of Wales in the United Kingdom. It also serves as an advisory body to the Welsh Liberal Democrats on youth issues.

The Organisation is run by an executive committee consisting of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Communications Officer, Policy Officer, Campaigns Officer and Non-Portfolio Officer, all of whom are elected annually by all-member ballot. The group also has a number of committees including an NUS Committee, a Policy & Conference Committee and a Campaigns Committee.

Current Executive Committee[edit]

The IR Cymru elections during 2016 saw the election of Tom Crofts as Chairman. The latest executive, of 2016-17, are listed below.

Position Name
Chair Callum James Littlemore (Interim)
Vice Chair & Treasurer Gurleen Kaur
Policy Officer Chloe Hutchinson
Communications Officer Trudi Hancock
Campaigns Officer Callum James Littlemore
Non-portfolio Officer Nathan Tarr

Branches[edit]

As of November 2016, IR Cymru has branches in Brecon and Radnorshire, Ceredigion, Swansea and Cardiff.[9]

Within the Welsh Liberal Democrats[edit]

IR Cymru is a Specified Associated Organisation (SAO) of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, with two seats on the Welsh Liberal Democrat National Executive Committee and one seat on each of the Party's other Standing Committees (Policy, Campaigns & Candidates and Conference Committees).

Campaigns[edit]

Campaigning in Cardiff South with Jenny Willott.

IR Cymru supports all the main campaigns from federal Young Liberals as well as developing and undertaking campaigns of their own. These campaigns are based on the motions submitted and passed at Conference and focus on issues facing young people today.

Members of IR Cymru also stand in local elections which has seen the group experience successes, especially in the 2012 local elections where IR Cymru candidates won in Bangor.[10] The organisation also is sponsoring and supporting a large number of candidates for the upcoming local elections in 2017 with many IR Cyrmu members standing in Cardiff, Swansea, Ceredigion and Brecon and Radnorshire.

Policy[edit]

Corey Shefman speaking at the Relaunch of IR Cymru, April 2009.

IR Cymru is responsible for proposing motions to the Welsh Party Conference and has had many successes in this capacity. At the Wrexham conference in Spring 2006 IR Cymru (as MIDR Cymru) successfully proposed a motion against Nuclear power,[11] and a second motion supporting micro-generation schemes. At the Aberystwyth conference in Autumn 2006, they successfully amended a motion on housing to reflect the particular difficulties faced by young people.

In Spring 2009, the re-branded IR Cymru put forward a successful motion which called for the Welsh Assembly to provide better compulsory education for teenagers on social and sex issues, and was partly aimed at tackling homophobic bullying.

In Spring 2013 the Welsh Liberal Democrats Party conference accepted motions on Subsidised Transport for Young People and Political Education within the Welsh Curriculum, proposed by the IR Cymru Executive Committee for 2013.

In the subsequent Spring conference in 2014, IR Cymru successfully proposed and passed a motion calling for more investment into Mental Health provision in Wales.

Both Autumn Conference 2015 and Spring conference 2016 saw the Executive bring forth and successfully pass a motion calling for improved and increased sexual education in schools. This policy was announced as having been adopted by the Lib Dem Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, in March 2017.

At Autumn Conference 2016 a motion in regards to Health Waiting Times and Mental Health services across Northern and Rural Wales was passed almost unanimously was passed, the motion having been written by an IR Cyrmu member.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2011 Constitution of IR Cymru - English Version" (PDF). IRCymru.org. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  2. ^ "University of Aberystwyth Liberal Democrats". Users.aber.ac.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  3. ^ Cardiff Student Liberal Democrats Archived February 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Ben Lloyd in MIDR Cymru's 2006 Annual Report[dead link]
  5. ^ Spring 2009 Welsh Liberal Democrat conference agenda[dead link]
  6. ^ Goldsworthy, Ali (2009-04-22). "Alison Goldsworthy, post-conference blog interview with Elaine Bagshaw". Freedomcentral.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  7. ^ "Candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr". Welsh Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Guardian.co.uk, Matt Smith: Electoral history and profile". Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  9. ^ "Branches". 
  10. ^ "Community / Town Council elections, 3 May 2012: results". Gwynedd Council. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "RedOrbit reports on the nuclear motion". Redorbit.com. 2006-03-10. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 

External links[edit]